When will solar panels become cost effective?

When will solar panels become cost effective?

Solar panels are a great solution for clean energy, and they can lower your energy costs over time. Exactly how long will it take for you to see a return on your investment if you decide to go solar? That depends on a number of factors. We asked solar experts to share their thoughts on the cost-effectiveness of solar. Here’s what they had to say:

Alison Montgomery

Alison Montgomery

Alison Montgomery is a Content Writer for Sunpro Solar. Sunpro Solar was ranked #11 in U.S. Solar Panel companies by Solar Power World in 2018. We install high-quality solar panels and micro-inverters throughout the Southeastern U.S.

The idea that solar panels are too expensive for the average person to invest in is a common misconception. Perhaps in the early 2000s this might have been true, but today solar panels are quite inexpensive. Thanks to reduction of manufacturing costs, healthy market competition, and greater interest in renewable energy, the price of solar panels has been steadily growing lower each year. In the past 10 years alone, solar panels costs have dropped by more than 70%.

If you can afford your electric bill, you can afford solar panels. With options such as $0 down financing, you can invest in solar panels and lower your electric bill. And once the solar panels have paid for themselves, you get decades of free electricity. With the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit, and state and local incentives to go solar, installing a solar panel system is exceptionally cost-effective.

Pablo Solomon

Pablo Solomon

Award winning Green designer

Pablo Solomon is an internationally recognized artist and award winning designer. He has been featured in over 30 books, dozens of major magazines and newspapers, TV, radio and film.

Most solar panels will already pay for themselves in a few years. The rub is that if you buy batteries to hold enough electricity to get you through the night, you will never recover the cost.

Until better batteries are developed, it is best to find a program –e.g. Pedernales Electric Coop. in Texas–where you “buy” panels in one of their panel farms. They maintain and insure the panels.

If you have not put in a lot of insulation and energy-efficient windows, do that first. Solar technology is still too primitive and expensive unless you have money to burn.

Hannah Wiegard

Hannah Wiegard

Marketing Manager

Hannah Wiegard has nearly 4 years of experience in solar in the Southeast. Hannah began her career promoting clean energy in 2010 as an organizer for the Alliance for Climate Protection.

In the Southeast of the US, having solar panels installed on your home is cost effective now. With help from solar contractors in your area, it’s easy to confirm your roof is suitable and estimate the amount of energy that panels in your location will produce over time, and how soon the installation will pay for itself.

It’s not a secret that investing in solar panels yields savings, and the awareness of that fact is driving growth for our industry. Why is one out of every 17 new jobs created in this country a solar job? To keep up with demand by homeowners, utilities, corporations and public buildings going solar to get a clean, affordable source of energy.

Morgen Henderson

Morgen Henderson is with Solar Power Authority.

The cost of solar panels, including installation, in the United States can range from as low as $5,000 (with rebates, tax breaks, and incentives) to up to $35,000 (without any discounts) and can take anywhere from five to 20 years to pay off (depending on location, sun exposure, etc.)

The average homeowner pays around $20,000 for a 5-kilowatt system and takes around 12 years to pay them off. Although it can take years, once solar panels are paid off, you’re basically getting free electricity for years to come.

When any homeowner is looking into solar, there are a few things they should consider, such as:

  • How much will panels and installation cost altogether? Will you receive any rebates, incentives, or other discounts?
  • Will you be buying or leasing your solar panels? If buying, will you be paying the full cost up front? Or financing month-to-month?
  • How much do you currently pay each month for electricity?

Matthias Alleckna

Matthias Alleckna writes weekly content on EnergyRates.ca, a leading energy rate comparison website.

Solar panel cost-effectiveness is not only a matter of time, but also a point-of-view situation. It depends on how much you intend to invest in such projects as well as the results you expect to reach. For people looking for short-term savings and quick results, perhaps these panels are still quite cost-ineffective, as it can take years and years for you to get a payback for the initial costs. However, if the focus is on your household’s carbon footprint, or even the long-term savings, solar is going to be a cost-effective energy source.

Although solar is becoming more and more affordable, such technology is still quite costly, as it requires specialized professionals, sophisticated tech and some expensive components. The future looks bright for this energy source, but for now, it can be more costly to some people than to others.

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